Love at First Sight or Awkward Shock?

Mrs. - posted on 12/18/2010 ( 20 moms have responded )

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I often hear mothers and fathers say that the day they had their child it was, "Love at first sight." Personally, I was so shocked and worn out it was a bit more like, "OH my God a crazy little slimy baby is now mine and I'm freaked." I've said this to other women and they look at me like I've grown a third head.

So, I'm wondering honestly, do you think it took you a while to fall for your kid or should it be fireworks or nothing? Do you think people who didn't fall for their kids right away are lacking? If you took a while to get into your kid, do you think people who say they had love at first sight are just full of shit? What do you think?

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Amie - posted on 12/18/2010

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I find it kind of weird to say fall for your kid. After the initial shock of finding out I was pregnant, I felt love blossom for my child. I think a lot of women feel this way, otherwise those who have miscarried or lost their baby along the way wouldn't be as crushed as they are/were.

I honestly don't know what to think about those who did not have that bond right from the moment their child was born. Men I can kind of understand it since they were not the ones carrying the child. I guess I just don't understand how you can carry a child and not feel something until long after they are born. To me, it just makes no sense.

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I fell for my kids as soon as I knew they existed, so it was long before 'love at first sight' for me. Some women bond that early, some at birth, some take a while. I don't think the exact moment REALLY matters.... as long as it happens.

Tara - posted on 12/19/2010

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I think it's different for everyone, and no one is less of a mother or father because of that (unless they go on to feel that way for months afterwards, and that would be PPD in my opinion.)
But to not feel instant love isn't a mark on your ability to love your child.

Petra - posted on 12/19/2010

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Yup, I can relate to you too, Rebecca. I'd had a natural birth, which no amount of reading could have prepared me for, and Tor had pooped on the way out, so immediately after he was born they plunked him down onto my chest to clean me up and the doc was preparing for stitches and this squirming, screaming creature was a few inches from my face and I just remember thinking "should I touch him? Am I supposed to touch him?" and I tentatively ran my fingers over his body and was just sort of in shock about the whole thing. Then they carted him away and the nurse gave me a shot of morphine and I went to my room, couldn't sleep and just sat there waiting for T and the baby to come back from the little cleaning session. I didn't sleep a wink all night, just cuddled him and looked at him, and by the time T came back in the morning, I was in love, in awe, and content. It was a very strange experience.

[deleted account]

I can relate to you Rebecca. My son was never placed on my chest, but quickly taken to check checked out. He was perfectly healthy, just small. It was a full 20 minutes of panic before I could actually see him. The nurses kept telling me he was just fine. I could hear him. My husband had to take a picture, then show me on the camera. I had a horrible birth experience, and by the time he was placed in my arms, he was already cleaned up and swaddled. So for me, I was way too mixed in emotions to fall in love. Sadly enough, I remember my son being placed in my arms, and the doctor down below taking 45 minutes to stitch me up. I started to feel sick and handed him off to hubby and promptly puked down my hospital gown. Then the fever set in and I didn't want to hold my son. This was between 9:29-10:15ish pm. At 10:45 pm I was getting prepared to go into a private room upstairs and I carried my son on my lap while I was wheeled upstairs. And then I remember hubby taking him again and I slept for several hours. So no instant love, sad to say :-(

Jenn - posted on 12/19/2010

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Love at first sight with my son - not so much with the twins. I think I was more overwhelmed and it took some time to bond with them.

Stifler's - posted on 12/19/2010

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i had the baby, this purple slimy thing was put in my arms. i uncurled all his fingers in total shock and the shape of his head i was wondering if he was okay. i walked him back to our room after someone else bathed him and i showered and was told where the ice packs were etc. i don't remember feeling love until i got home from hospital and then i'd hold him and cry about how beautiful he was and how sweet it was when my husband held him and said " i love you" over his crib and how gorgeous he was when he was sleeping. this constant emotional array went on for about 2 weeks... and then the reflux started. oh now i'm crying about how gorgeous it was when logan was sleeping in his hospital crib 1 hour old and damo had to go home and whispered "love you" over the crib to him.

Mary - posted on 12/19/2010

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Rebecca, it probably really can depend on your overall temperament and personality.

I was one of those people who was absolutely overwhelmed with love the second my daughter was placed on my belly. I have yet to find sufficient words to describe all that I felt at that moment. That entire day is one I would happily relive over and over again.

However, I should add that Molly was a dream that I never thought would come true. I had been through years of unexplained infertility and endless rounds of IUI and IVF. That marriage dissolved as a result. I had to pick up the pieces and learn to accept a life without a child of my own. I remarried, and was both stunned and thrilled to immediately conceive...only to miscarry at 10 weeks. I conceived again 3 months later.

I should say that while pregnant, I was very wary. We didn't tell anyone in our family until after the 8 week sono confirmed a heartbeat, and I was probably 16 weeks before I freely admitted it many friends and co-workers. I did not buy one blessed thing until I was 32 weeks. I was absolutely terrified that something would happen, and in some foolish effort to protect myself from heartbreak, I tried to be detached. I say tried, because the truth is I was in love with this baby from the second I knew it was there. I talked to "it" all the time (didn't find out the sex until birth). However, a part of me just could not allow myself to ever relax and plan ahead like many expectant mothers do. Most people who had been where I had and got pregnant would be over the moon, but I was very fearful and cautious. I don't think I fully let go of those fears until she was in my arms. She was my own very real miracle, and I had been waiting for her for such a long time.

Now, I don't for a second believe that I love my child more than you or anyone else. What one feels in those moments immediately after birth (and even days) is not necessarily indicative of the relationship you will have over their lifetime.
I also think that more people than are willing to admit it are a bit freaked out when hit with the realization that are now totally responsible for this tiny little being, and are terrified that they don't really know what they are doing. I think that is a very normal reaction, albeit not one that is always freely acknowledged.

Oh, and btw - I was the same with my dog. Charlie was a stray, and the shelter that found him brought him along on one of those Sunday am news segments. I wasn't even thinking about getting a dog at the time, but I saw his face, and instantly just knew he was my dog. 6 years later, and I love that boy more than ever.

[deleted account]

ha, I was just thinking about this the other day. I realized that I don't think very many babies are cute and I hoped that my Julie would be cuter than most of the babies I've seen. I can totally see where you're coming from, though, Rebecca. I usually distance myself from highly emotional situations and in doing so I find it hard to feel attachment to certain things or people. My husband, I've loved him for forever and would die if anything ever happened to him. This baby I'm carrying, I'm not so sure right now. I know I'll love her when she's here, and I'll try my best to be a good mother, but I don't like kids. I've only held a baby once when I was twelve and I was scared to death of it. I hate snot and slimy things and can't stand certain sounds. I think gunk oozes out of kids' fingertips and sticks to all the important things like daddy's flat-screen TV or mommy's charcoal sketches. I know it doesn't really but it's a psychological thing....

But honestly, I think I'll have the same reaction. I'll probably end up emotionally detaching myself from the situation and curling up into a fetal position in the corner. I'll be too scared to touch her and later, when we bring her home I'll be too scared to be left alone with her.

Because baby humans are nothing like baby puppies or baby kittens, which I have taken care of before. And I don't want to think of my daughter like I would a kitten or puppy. Ugh, it's just really scary...

[deleted account]

I can see where your coming from. I think a lot of moms, especially with there first baby, have that shock and are freaked out. I was scared to death when I had my oldest but I loved her so much and in a way it made me more scared because I had no clue what to do. I was running on instinct but wasn't sure of myself as a mother, I even joked with the nurse and asked for an owners manual. She actually thought I was serious at first. I was also pretty freaked out when I saw how big she was (she wasn't big either 6 pounds 8 ounces) and that she came out of me.LOL

Desiree - posted on 12/18/2010

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Every single person is different, there is nothing wrong with the way you reacted to seeing your child for the first time. When I saw my daughter for the first time I had to remind myself that she was supposed to look like that with the slight blue ting to her skin and all slimmy with gunk. Then I had this incredible rush and I fell in love with her completely. My son wasn't the same I knew what to expect but I still had the same rush. On the other hand my husband went grey and then puffed up and you would have thought he was the only man in the world that ever produced a Daughter..So you see it all depends on the person so there is no need to feel guilty over it and some women never fall for their kids but that is a whole different discussion because I have no clue as to why that would happen.

Mrs. - posted on 12/18/2010

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I guess, considering my history of always sort of standing outside the situation looking on going WTF in most of life's large events (like death, falling in love, illness, injury..etc), it's no surprise birth was like that for me. I'd blame it on my PPD but I know myself too well to claim that. Plus, my fiance also said he was kind of just shocked and in surreal zombie mode too.

I can't say I "loved" the baby so much when I was carrying her as I knew for sure I didn't want to loose her. I guess it's hard to say.

I mean, I know dogs are not the same but, I hear the same thing from dog owners. You know, the moment I locked eyes with my dog, I knew it was love at first sight. Now no one loves their dog more than me (okay crazy people who cart their dogs in doggy carriages probably do but that's not the point) but I was a bit more like, I think this dog could be a good companion once I get to know it kind of person.

For me, I really did not dig most of the little baby stage. I loved her after the shock wore off (first couple weeks) but I didn't fall in love with her until I got to know her as the little being she is, you know round 6 months or so (when the personality comes out a bit). Who knows maybe I'm like a dude that way, it wouldn't be the first time that's happened.

Katherine - posted on 12/18/2010

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Love at first sight. I couldn't believe a little human being came out of me that was so perfect in every way :)



Edit to add: I loved her while I carried her (both of mine) and I loved them when I met them. I felt the need to be mama bear from the second I found out I was pregnant. Maybe the post should have read: What did you expect or something. Because Amie is right, you've loved them all along.

Jessica - posted on 12/18/2010

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They put Peyton on my chest, slimy and all and I was so in love with this little being resting on my chest that I would have died for her at the drop of a hat right then and there if it meant she would never feel hate, hurt or anything else negative this world has. I was actually hemorraging very badly at the time and wasn't aware, all that was on my mind was love for this new little life. So yes, lol, I think that love at first site is real. :)

Amanda - posted on 12/18/2010

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love at first site for me as well! but i do admit for both of them i didn't think they were "cute" for a couple of weeks.....they were beautiful because they were babies and they were mine, but i just didn't see what everyone else did (people were in awe of their cuteness;) i think mainly because they didn't look anything like what i was picturing? there are plenty of women that take time to bond and fall in love with their babies, that's normal also.

Nelly - posted on 12/18/2010

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It was love at first sight for me and my husband when all 4 of our children were born

[deleted account]

Everything was a blur in the hours following the birth and I was running on instinct. It was probably several hours later before I could say that I had never experienced so much love.

Rosie - posted on 12/18/2010

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love at first sight-even before that, lol. with my last one, he was pretty ugly, lol. but galdangit i fell in love with his red, squished ugly face immediately. :)



edited to add: he WAS ugly, now he's just the cutest damn thing you've ever seen!! i get more compliments on him than i ever did with my other children, and they're pretty damn cute too! ;)

[deleted account]

As soon as I was coherent, I was in love! When I first saw her she was all bruised and dented and her nose was smooshed to the side. She had a ROUGH 13 hours before my emergency c-section so while I was laying on a bed and they wheeled me in to the NICU and I got to grab her tiny hand....THAT is when I fell in love. REAL LOVE, like nothing I've experienced before.

Lacye - posted on 12/18/2010

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The first time I saw my daughter I was just in awe! My sisters (they were in the delivery room with me) claim that the first thing I said after seeing her was "Thank God she looks like me". Now I just don't remember that. But I remember playing with her little fingers and thinking, wow! this is mine. I did this.

I don't think a person is lacking if they don't fall for their kids right away. Different folks, different strokes.

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